More than 200 government interns across the region gathered for the first-ever Government Internship Program (GIP) Congress on November 25, 2022 at the Ritz Hotel, Davao City, conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI. This DOLE XI-initiated activity intended to show gratitude to the exemplary performance of GIP interns and mark the successful implementation of the program in Davao Region this year.

The highlight of the celebration was the 2022 DOLE XI Gawad GIP segment in which notable contributions and accomplishments of interns in their respective assigned offices were duly recognized. The stories of Mr. Joffrel Encarnacion Arrocena, GIP intern at the DOLE XI-Davao del Norte Field Office, and Mr. Ronel Ogabang, GIP intern at the Civil Service Commission-Davao del Sur, were hailed as winners of the “My GIP Experience” contests for DOLE XI Interns and Partner Agencies Interns categories, respectively. Mr. Arrocena and Mr. Ogabang shared the learning and adventures they encountered as interns through a video presentation.

“My stint with DNFO as an intern made me realize that successful people are not actually gifted, they work hard, then succeed on purpose,” he shared. From a GIP Intern, Mr. Arrocena is now a Job Order personnel assigned at the same office.

Mr. Ogbang shared in his video presentation that after graduation, he had a hard time looking for a job. “Our family was only dependent on farm income and harvest at that time was not good. That’s why I am thankful for the GIP because it gave me an opportunity to help my family. This program proves that our government is looking after the welfare of the people, especially the youth.”

In his opening message, DOLE XI Regional Director Atty. Randolf C. Pensoy said, “This is where we proudly acknowledge those of you who have been constantly, regularly, and habitually engaged in earnest and honest work. The key word here is consistency. This is one of the values that we must empower once we enter the workforce.”

The GIP interns assigned at the DOLE XI Regional and Field Offices as well as in partner government agencies were treated to learning sessions to better equip them as they enter the labor market, may it be in private or public office. The sessions included Mental Health and Resilience in the workplace by Ms. Ruchela P. Gamao, RGC of the University of Southeastern Philippines and Job Searching in the Digital Age by Ms. Belinda L. Torres, Vice President for Professional and Service Ventures of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., and Mr. Marlito D. Ayala, Senior Labor and Employment Officer of the DOLE XI.

Along with the advances in information and communication technology, another DOLE XI initiative was launched during the congress – the GIP Online System. Ms. Jenelyn A. Sanchez, head of the DOLE XI Knowledge Resource Unit, shared that the system was designed to provide equal employment opportunities to all aspiring individuals through systematic collection and processing of internship intents. The development of the GIP Online System was also a response to the client’s needs given the prevailing social and environmental situation where a physical transaction is minimized and digitalization shall be accelerated.

Another highlight was the inspiring stories of success shared by former GIP interns who were absorbed as regular employees of various government offices in the region.

“We are happy that you are here today. The first of many GIP Congresses is, indeed, productive and dynamic. DOLE XI is inspired to hold this kind of event because of all your positive stories and your efforts to go above and beyond. We hope that your experiences as GIP interns truly uplifted you and will be of great help as you pursue your career in public service or in private institutions. Thank you and congratulations to all of us!” said DOLE XI Asst. Regional Director Atty. Jason P. Balais as he closed the program.

Also in attendance were DOLE XI Field Office and Division Heads, Department of Agriculture XI Regional Technical Director for Operations Ms. Marila L. Corpuz, PhD, Civil Service Commission XI Director III Venue O. Rumanlag, and representatives from the Office of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.### MFKM